It's been a busy week, you've been working hard all week to get a new target account to give you a chance to quote their next opportunity. Today you finally get the call, they send you prints and its time to really impress them with your knowledge, quick turn around and lead time. You gather all your information and then call your plastic supplier to get a quote on the plastic stock shape, then you hear: "That's not something we stock, I'll have to call the mill and get a price and lead time" (screeching tires). Now you have to wait, and wait...and wait. Finally (maybe days later), you get the call back only to hear there is a minimum purchase and a lead time for the item. Now what?
Wikipedia defines distribution as: The process of making a product or service available for use or consumption by a consumer or business user, using direct means, or using indirect means with intermediaries. I'm sure you will agree with me, my expectation of "making a product available" is having it in stock, ready to go when needed. That's the role of a distributor, it's the service we provide. All too often today, we see distributors acting more like brokers. They don't stock anything, they drop ship everything and they really don't bring any value. In our example above, the minimum buy will hurt the job shops chances of getting the business.
Today's distributors are under enormous pressures for financial performance, needing to achieve ever greater margins and inventory turns. Instead of meeting those demands with superior service, they cut back on the service offered. Job shops don't know when (if ever) a job will repeat. If the job shop has to invest money and space into stocking materials, it will distract them from the things they do best, machining parts!
The next time your plastics supplier tells you "that's not something we stock...I'll have to call you back", think about giving Plastics International a call. We have a huge inventory available to meet your needs, keeping partial sizes inventoried in our system to give you quick access to them. Plastics International can price you right over the phone, even on cut to size items. And once you place your order, it will ship same day/following business day. All of this is offered with no minimum order for stocked items.
So give us a call or check us out online at www.plasticsintl.com.